" Vegetables are the food of the earth, fruit seems more the food of the heavens." (Sepal Felicivant)

September 20, 2008

Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking

Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking

Indonesian cuisine is popular with its variety spices and herb use in cooking process. It makes Indonesian cuisine has a very rich on taste. Here there are. I tried to collect them in the list.

If I find another spices or herb which is not included in this list, I’ll add them later.


Bahasa Indonesia




Bawang putih


Bawang merah

(red/green) Chilli

Cabe (merah/hijau), cabe keriting

Hot Chilli

Cabe pedas(rawit)

White pepper

Lada putih

Black pepper

Lada hitam

Green onion

Daun bawang

Turmeric root


Galangal root


Greater galingale (Kaempferia galanga)




Candle nut



Daun bawang

Spring onion/green onion

Daun bawang

Turmeric leaf

Daun kunyit

Salam leaf

Daun salam



Caraway (Carum carvi)


Star Anise

Bunga Lawang, Peka





Fruit of Kepayang Tree


Flowering garlic chives

Bunga bawang



Lime leaf

Daun jeruk purut

(A kind of) Indonesian very sour lime

Jeruk nipis


Jeruk limo

Coriander seed/ground

Biji/bubuk ketumbar

Coriander leaf

Daun ketumbar

Curry leaf/ground

Daun kari/ bubuk kari

Lemon Basil leaf

Daun kemangi

Celery leaf

Daun seledri

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum ) seed/ground

Biji/bubuk jintan

Garlic chives


Sesame seed

Biji Wijen


Asam Jawa

A Classic Steamed Brownies

Brownies is a dark brown sweet and sticky cake. People usually bake the batter. However, people in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, popularize the brand new brownies, Steamed Brownies. This recipe below adapted from Ny. Liem’s recipe book. To reduce its calory I have made some modifications.


3 large organic eggs
110 g granulated sugar
½ teaspoon Vanillin powder
¼ teaspoon cake emulsifier (I used VX)
65 g wheat flour (medium protein)
25 g chocolate powder
6 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon maizena flour
50 ml low fat liquid milk, thickened (add maizena flour, simmer and stir well, when it is thickening, cool it down)
50 g dark cooking chocolate, melted, mix with canola oil


Set the brownies pan (4 x 10 x 15) cm, cover it with cake paper (silicon paper is necessary and long term reusable)
Set the steamer. Assure the water is boil and has enough steam before put the brownies in
Whisk eggs with hand mixer in low speed
Add sugar. Mix until the granulated sugar is well dissolved
Add VX , continue to mix it until well improved
Add wheat flour and chocolate powder, stir with spatula gently and slowly

Pour the mix of melted dark cooking chocolate and canola oil to the batter. Stir with spatula gently and slowly
Pour ⅓ part of the batter to different bowl. Add thickened liquid milk to it. Stir well with spatula (let’s call it batter A)
Pour another ⅓ part of the batter into brownies pan. Steam this first layer for about 7 minutes on medium heat
Pour batter A onto first steamed layer for about 7 minutes.
Finally, pour the left batter you have onto those two steamed layer. Steam it for about 15 minutes or until it well risen and firm
Turn off the heat. Take it out. Cool it in room temperature then unmold it

Slice it and ready to serve


If you can’t use glass steamer cover, you need to wrap the cover with a clean napkin to prevent water flecks drop onto your brownies surface. The flecks will cause your brownies surface become billowy.

Related posting:

Common Indonesian Flour Used For Daily Cooking and Baking

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

Steamed Sponge Cake: Indonesian Bolu Kukus

Common Indonesian Flours used for Daily Cooking and Baking

1. Wheat flour, there are 3 kinds level of protein in branded packages flour: high protein (contains at least 10.5% gluten), all purposes flour/medium protein (7-10%), low protein (4-7%).

2. Rice flour, made from rice.

3. Sago flour, made from sago or sagu tree.

4. Maizena /corn flour.

5. Tapioka flour, it is made from cassava tuber.

6. Glutinous rice flour/ Sticky rice flour, really common usage for traditional food.

7. Bread flour, usually people use it for coating before frying.

September 13, 2008

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

An amateur tries to bake usually ends it with failure result instead of succeed. I do too. There are several kinds of possibilities, such as:

1. You don’t read or pay more attention on the critical point. Read the instruction one more carefully. Maybe you’ve left something.

2. You have no idea about the expired date of your raw materials. Check them again on the package. Perhaps, you shouldn’t use them any longer. If yes, just throw in your garbage can.

3. Maybe you don’t keep the raw material in appropriate needed condition. If you store them in the wrong place with wrong condition such as high humidity, room temperature, direct sunlight or something, they will be broken faster than they used to. So, check again on their packages what condition they really need, maybe they must keep in the refrigerator after you open it, or just keep them in dry place, without any sunlight, etc.

4. You don’t use right equipment. In some cases (but not always), the right equipment takes the roll.

September 12, 2008

Bright Red Tea, Hibiscus Tea..

Hibiscus sabdariffa, I bought one small pack of dried roselle’s calyx at delicatessen nearby. Commonly, Indonesian people say it is roselle’s flower due to widespread misinterpretation. It is not flower but part of flower to protect a flower before it opens, CALYX.

Roselle have planted in Indonesia for a few hundred years ago. People used its fiber just like jute. But lately people also use it for food and drink. The dried calyx processes into rosella jams, syrups, and tea.

To make some tea, simply pour 250 ml boiling water on 3 to 5 dried rosella’s calyxes. Wait until it turns into bright red color. Press them with teaspoon may help them become red faster than just leave them. Add amount of sugar cube, stir. You can drink it cold or warm. Fresh but sour. Off course it is sour, because of the high level of vitamin C. So be careful of your stomach.

Wikipedia said that Hibiscus sabdariffa’s calyxes are rich in Anthocyanins. These pigments are responsible for the bright red to crimson red color of our Hibiscus tea here, depends on how many dried calyx we use. Not only take a role as the major pigment in this dried calyx, but Anthocyanins also take a part as antioxidant.

The dried calyxes are also rich in flavonoids content. That’s why people around the world use it for several folk medications. Some researchers found that hibiscus tea has anti hypertension effect in type II diabetic patients (with mild hypertension) so that it is reasonable when folk medication use it to cure people’s mild hypertension.

You can read Bahasa Indonesia version of this similar posting in my other blog.


September 9, 2008

Soto Kudus (Kudus Chicken Soup)

Kudus is a city in Central Java, Indonesia. It has been famous for its clove cigarettes (known as kretek ) product for long time.

Soto is also known as Indonesian dishes. There are many kind of soto vary according to the city of they came from. For example there are Soto Betawi, Soto Magetan, Soto Madiun, Soto Sulung, Soto Lamongan, Soto Bandung, etc. Different places use different ingredients, and off course make different tastes.

For me, Soto Kudus has the simplest ingredients. It tastes so fresh though.


1 free range chicken or organic chicken (Indonesia= Ayam Kampung), clean and cut into frying pieces
1.5 L fresh water
3 cloves garlic
6 shallots
3 cm slice galangal root (Indonesia= Lengkuas), crushed
2 salam leaves (Indonesian Bay leaves)
2 Jeruk Purut leaves (Indonesian small fragrant kind of lime, or you can use lemon’s skin peel)
¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon of white pepper powder
1 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of sugar to replace MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamat)
400 cc cooking oil


100 g bean sprouts, soaked in hot water, then drained
4 tablespoon slice of celery
4 tablespoon slice of leek
2 limes
3 table spoon of sliced onion, fried
Soy sauce condiment (crushed hot chili with sweet soy sauce)


Place water and chicken in saucepan or pot
Then boil the chicken in low heat
Grind garlic, shallots, salt. Sauté well with salam leaves, galangal root. Then add into boiling chicken
Add salt, white pepper powder, turmeric powder, a pinch of sugar, and jeruk purut leaves
Continue boiling until the chicken turns into gentle and smooth texture. Then turn off the fire
Take the chicken out of pot, drain it well. Fry until it turns into golden color. After that, slice the fried chicken
Present Soto Kudus with the complements

(Ps: for 6 peoples)

Related Posting:

Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking
Soto Ayam Magetan (Magetan Chicken Soup)

Soto Betawi (Batavian Beef Soup)

Tapai Ketan Pudding (Fermented Glutinous Rice Pudding)

It looks and tastes great. Sweet, salty, smooth..hmm yummy. It is suitable to accompany your dinner for delicious desert.



250 g tapai ketan (fermented black glutinous rice)
1 pack agar powder (white or no color)
150 g sugar
1 Liter fresh squeezed thin coconut milk
2 pieces pandan leaves
A pinch of salt
2 low cholesterol organic egg yolks, stirred


300 ml fresh squeezed thin coconut milk
75 g sugar
1 pandan leaf
½ teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of Maizena flour
1 teaspoon of vanillin powder



Combine coconut milk, white sugar, tapai ketan, pandan leaves, and agar powder in a pot
Boil in low heat. Stir well to avoid cracking of coconut milk
Turn off the fire and allow to cool
Pour egg yolks, slowly, stir the pudding, pour again bit by bit
Pour in the pudding mould, allow to cool, keep in the refrigerator
Serve with sauce.


Mix sugar, coconut milk, salt and pandanus leaves
Boil in low heat
Add maizena flour. Stir until become sticky
Remove from the heat. Then add vanillin powder in it

This recipe is adapted from Femina and Keluarga Nugraha, with modification on amount of egg yolks, sugar, and coconut milk.

Related Posting:

Klappertaart, A Dessert from Manado
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices Used for Daily Cooking
Common Indonesian Flours Used for Daily Cooking and Baking

September 5, 2008

Steamed Sponge Cake: Indonesian Bolu Kukus

This is my first try…

I added soda water too much. Thus, the batter was so watery..and the outcome was so embarrassing..hehehe. They didn’t blossom at all.

And below, my second try. Not so good but yeah it was okay I think. I poured the batter to tin cups fully without considering they would blossom so large like that. Whatsoever is too much is not beautiful indeed.

This is my mother recipe with some modification:


200 g white sugar
2 large low cholesterol organic eggs
1 teaspoon cake emulsifier
250 g wheat flours with medium protein
½ teaspoon vanillin crystal
50 ml low fat diluted milk plus 100 ml soda water
1 teaspoon chocolate powder

(Result: 16 cups, but it depends on how much you pour the batter)


Cover tin cups with cake paper or parchment paper
Boil the water in steamer. I’d rather use steamer with glass cover, so I can watch what happen inside. When you use glass cover steamer, you do not need cover it with napkin to prevent water dropping to the cakes. The glass will prevent it for you
Stir well egg yolks. Add sugar until the color turn into white or pale color
Then add cake emulsifier (I used ovalet) and vanillin crystal, mix until the batter turns into a smooth one
Put in turns half portion of flour and half of milk with soda water, back to back. Mix well. Stop when the batter turns into appropriate texture or consistence which is the batter not only too watery but also not too sticky
Take about 10 tablespoon of the batter, put it in a bowl. Then mix it with chocolate powder
Pour the uncolored batter into covered tin cup. Not too much, until ¾ cup. Pour the top with chocolate batter about 1 or 2 teaspoon
Steam them for about 15 minutes with medium heat. Lower the heat for about 5 minutes
Turn the heat off and they ready to serve.

Related Posting:

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

Common Indonesian Flours Used For Daily Cooking and Baking

September 4, 2008

Potato Donut

Making this small cake, made of fried dough, with the shape of ring, wasn’t easy for me. It wasn’t succeeding suddenly. My first experiment ended with failure. My first dough-nuts were unacceptable even for my cats. Those dough-nuts were too tough to eat!

This dough-nut or donut used wheat flour as its main ingredient instead of a full of potato.

Here there are,


250 g wheat flour (high protein)
100 g peeled potatoes, steamed, mashed, cooled down
5.5 g yeast
a pinch of salt
40 g butter
50 g sugar
40 g egg yolk
50 ml liquid milk (low fat)

(Result: 12 medium size donuts)


Mix wheat flour with sugar, stirred. Use mixer in low speed
Add yeast, stirred. Use mixer in low speed
Add cold mashed potato, egg yolk, and milk. Kneaded the dough until the gluten well developed
Add butter and salt, kneaded the dough again, and rested the dough for 15 minutes
Make small dough balls, about 50 grams each balls, rested those balls idle for 20 minutes
Make a whole in the middle of dough ball. You can use your finger or chopstick
Deep fried those dough balls


Never combine yeast with salt and butter directly, because salt or butter could damage the yeast cells and your dough won’t ferment. Make sure your dough mixed well with yeast before adding salt.

Make sure your mashed potato is cool down enough. If you put it together warm mashed potatoes with yeast, it also could damage the yeast and the dough will not able to rise too.

Related Posting:

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

Common Indonesian Flours Used For Daily Cooking and Baking

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